Can there be any better country to drive around than New Zealand? The stunning natural landscape is truly breathtaking, and many people choose to rent a car when they arrive so that they have the freedom to see all of the best bits. But there’s a problem: which highlights should you focus on? The sheer number of natural wonders in New Zealand make visiting them all out of the question. Here are some that are not only beautiful but are also easy to reach.
Ninety Mile Beach
One thing is for sure: you’ve never seen a beach like this one. Although not actually 90 miles long, this beach is still very, very long, stretching all the way from Scott Point to Ahipara. In fact, it is actually a highway, which you will need a 4WD to get along. So if you sort out a car rental in NZ when you arrive, you’re better off just visiting the beach rather than driving along it, where you can spend the day swimming, bodyboarding, or chilling out. There is also some excellent surfing to be found if that’s your thing.
The Moeraki Boulders
Moeraki is about 25 miles from Oamaru on the North Otago coast, and when you drive here make sure you look out for the huge Moeraki Boulders. These boulders, some of them over two meters in height and weighing many tons, are millions of years old. They are a strange sight to behold, and you can view them from a specially erected viewing platform.
Craters of the Moon
The Craters of the Moon are located just north of Taupo. They seem like something ancient when you look down upon boiling mud craters and see the steam clouds filling the air, but actually they only appeared in the 1950s. Walk along the special walkways and peer over at the steam-spewing craters, and it is certainly a sight that you don’t encounter every day.
220,000 liters of water bursts out of Huka Falls every second, and you will be able to feel the power of the water when you get close up to it. The falls occur at a spot on the Waikato River, which is the longest in the country, where the water is suddenly packed into a shallow ravine. Walk on the footbridge to see it close up, or go out on a boat to get an even better view. There is also a walking trail from Spa Park to Huka Falls, which is a short and easy walk that is worth doing. Try to see it after visiting the Craters of the Moon because it’s only a mile from Taupo.
Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, & Ruapehu
These three awe-inspiring volcanos are all located in Tongariro National Park, and are the biggest to be found on the North Island. They are live volcanos that you can hike up if you want to. Alternatively, you can admire them from a distance and instead walk around the park, exploring the thermal lakes and hot springs. You may also want to walk the famed Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is an exciting day-long trek.
Lake Matheson is a stunning lake located near to Fox Glacier. The lake itself is beautiful, but what makes it particularly stunning is that you will see an incredibly clear reflection of Mount Cook in the water, adding to its natural beauty. There are walks to enjoy here, and keep an eye out for water birds as you explore the area.
Thrive on New Zealand’s Natural Beauty
These are just a few of the natural highlights that you can enjoy on a driving tour of New Zealand. All of them are very different, and all of them are incredibly beautiful, providing a truly stunning display of nature at its most awe-inspiring. So rent your car when you arrive and see them all during your stay.
Angela Hallberg was bitten by the travel bug years ago. She greatly enjoys writing about the best and beautiful sites that feed the traveler’s soul. Check out the OmegaRentalCars.com website to sort out car rental in New Zealand.